By Kristen Pulver | Director, New Verticals
Editor’s note: This is a part one of a series on the good and the bad of working with education call centers. In part one below, Kristen Pulver, our expert in the education vertical, covers what makes a good call center.
The wonderful world of education lead gen is focused on quality, volume and matching users to schools who pay for qualified leads. So, in an environment committed to such quality, one would think call centers are a driver of great education leads, right? Well you are right, in most cases.
After testing around 75 education call centers in my career, I have come to realize that many call centers are fantastic to work with, but as with all things, some are subpar. Many schools restrict call center leads, but why? With the internet littered with questionable advertising partners, it’s the responsibility of your agency to ensure the partners they’re working with are compliant, quality traffic drivers and above all, abiding by your advertising guidelines. If you’re thinking “what advertising guidelines?” then make sure you’re partnering with an agency that has education advertising guidelines that they follow and enforce to all of their partners.
So, let’s get to it…
What makes a good call center? Data & the agents working that data. Using the right data, for the right phone call, for the right industry is critical. If you get a shared opt-in from a pizza delivery company — why would you call them for education? Okay, maybe it’s ‘compliant’ but at the end of the day we need to see enrollments! So where do we start?
Start with realistic data sources targeting the right individuals. As the school or agency, you SHOULD be asking where this data comes from. Even if it’s just to get an idea so you can do your due diligence in knowing what you’re selling. With Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulations coming down right around the corner, as lead buyers & sellers, we NEED to know the data source is compliant.
Next, the agents. I hear a lot of questions about domestic vs. foreign call center floors. Honestly, as long as they’re not being incentivized (yes, you need to ask about that too) I haven’t found a huge difference. It comes down to the agents’ training; to not sell education, but rather to find an expressed interest. I have found that you cannot use a sales call center to drive education leads because it’s not a product to “sell” and it’s hard to undo an agent’s sales training.
So be careful when choosing your center. Ask for training materials – or even provide your own. Ask how they train for a new campaign, how they monitor their agents’ performance and how you can track their performance. Much of the call center’s success stems from the right amount of management.
In Kristen’s next post she will discuss the bad and ugly of call centers and let you know what you need to do to avoid them.